picnic basketBig fan of dining al fresco, are you? Love rolling out a blanket, sitting on covered earth, and eating little salads and fruit from Tupperware? Of course you do. Because you're a mom. And moms have to love picnics because their kids love picnics.

Take the stress out of the endeavour with this handy dandy checklist. From foods to games to that "it" factor your trips to the park have always lacked, this list will ensure you have everything you need for the perfect springtime picnic.

  1. A picnic blanket but, like, a good one. Why bring a thin, ratty old sheet when you can bring a comforter? Don't tell me you don't have an old double or queen-size comforter in the basement that could stand to get a little dirt and potato salad on it, then be washed. The extra padding it provides goes a long way; plus, kids think it's super fancy they're eating on a cloud.
  2. Easy to eat food. Anything too saucy is a nightmare. Stick to chilled pastas and salads. Also, don't underestimate the power of a good hoagie. PS -- deviled eggs are always appropriate and delicious.
  3. Drinks and cups. So easy to forget the cups, so yeah, don't. And make sure the ice in your cooler that's meant to be put in drinks is kept in a plastic bag, separate from the rest. It'll stay cleaner that way when the ketchup explodes.
  4. Fun snacks. The kids will hate you if you only bring carrot and celery sticks, so try and have a little fun with the snacks, even if it means paying extra. Kale chips are a thing now, same with nori and rice cakes. Also, a bag of peanut M&Ms never killed anyone.
  5. Entertainment! The eating part of the picnic takes about three seconds (for the kiddos, anyway), so make sure they have plenty to do while you finish off your "juice box." Surprise them with that new toy they've been asking for, and pack a softball, beachball, and Frisbee.
  6. But do not bring a kite. I'm sorry, but kites are a disaster. Has playing with one never not ended in tears? Those things are difficult and frustrating and the best way to ensure everyone's having fun is avoid the damn thing altogether. I know kites are quintessential, but I personally think they're of the devil.
  7. Bring water balloons, only if you're brave. Fill those suckers up pre-picnic and keep 'em safely hidden in the car. Then, when they least expect it, assault the little ones. No? Ok, have them do a water balloon toss.
  8. Bring shaving cream, only if you're super brave. If you'll be picnicking near a water source in which kids can rinse off, employ them with a shaving cream beard contest.
  9. Sunscreen. Lather up the little rug-rats after lunch to avoid bringing home total rednecks.
  10. Awesome pants. There are pants made specifically for picnicking, and I think you need them, like, ASAP.

What's on your picnic checklist?

 

Photo via stephendepolo/Flickr